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Christmas swim paddles guide: How they help your technique and which ones are best for what!?

Which paddles are best for improving different parts of your front crawl stroke?

Here is our Speedy Swimming paddles guide:

Finis freestyler paddles

These are great for increasing awareness of your hand pitch particularly if you tend to cross over on entry or underneath your body as your arm tracks through the catch and pull phases. They also help with maintaining positive palm pitch or holding the water all the way through the stroke underwater, and hence benefit increasing you DPS or Distance per Stroke. "Prevents hand entry crossover that causes shoulder injury. " Finis

Finis Bolster paddles

Maintaining optimum wrist / forearm angles, and sets you up very well for an early vertical forearm position and higher catch. These have become one of our favourites and for clients as they really facilitate a better and higher catch. These can cause fatigue quickly though so don't use for more than 100 metres at a time. "They help improve efficiency by maintaining a strong, uninterrupted pull" Finis

Zone 3 catch paddles

Increased sensitivity and feel for the water in the catch phase. Description from the Zone 3 website "The flat shape allows for development of the freestyle water catch positions" Zone 3.

Finis forearm fulcrums

Another paddle for maintaining the correct wrist / forearm angle, and achieving an early vertical forearm position for a higher catch. These are also brilliant at helping to correct hand pitch, ie if your hand pitch turns inward or outward at any part in the stroke. "Specifically designed for stroke refinement and technique focus." Finis

Zone 3 technique paddles

Similar size to your hand, shaped and convex in shape, these are good at refining and correcting your hand position in the water throughout the stroke

Swim strength paddles

What they say on the tin. However, beware about starting or increasing the distance with these "dinner plate" sized paddles as they can put too much pressure on your shoulders, especially if you press too hard in the catch or have a straight arm catch.

One of our favourites is the TYR catalyst 2 paddle. To quote from the TYR website

"Perfect for swimmers of all levels, the LVC2 hand paddle helps improve stroke technique while building arm strength. Its unique shape improves water feel and distributes pressure evenly for reduced shoulder stress." TYR.

We offer:

If you have a swim technique problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the Speedy Swimming Team!

Get in touch by giving us a call on 07958635142 or email us at

Swim Coaching Packages we offer:

1. Front crawl swim coaching:

2. Front crawl swim video analysis in an endless pool at Tribal in Chertsey:

3. Swim squads for intermediates, held at Aldershot Garrison 50 metre pool:

4. Online training plans for swimming and triathlons:

Copyright © Speedy Swimming

Nick is a level 3 British Triathlon Coach, Level 1 Training Peaks coach, and Training Bible coaching Master endurance coach with 25 years’ experience in triathlon, founder and Head Coach for Speedy Swimming.

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